Patriots Legend James White Backs Mac Jones Despite Rough Night

'Mac is still the guy'


October 25, 2022

Many Patriots fans are ready to turn on Mac Jones. Many already have.

James White isn’t quite there, though. In fact, he’s not even close.

Jones was booed off the field and replaced by rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe during the second quarter of New England’s eventual 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. Jones struggled in limited action, going 3-for-6 while throwing an awful interception across three underwhelming drives. Predictably, the sophomore quarterback looked rusty after missing a month due to a severe high ankle sprain. Zappe, on the other hand, looked great in the first half before plummeting back to Earth during the second half.

It was an embarrassing night for all involved — especially Patriots fans — and the Jones-Zappe controversy isn’t going anywhere. However, White expects Jones both to remain professional and to prove why he’s New England’s franchise quarterback.

“I think he’ll handle it fine,” the retired Patriots running back said during a podcast appearance with NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry. “Like I said, nobody played very well last night. Everybody has to turn the page. I thought he handled it great last night. He was still there supporting Bailey when he’s playing. He’s the first one to congratulate (Zappe) after a touchdown. I think he handled it well, I think it’ll kind of ignite a little bit more fire underneath him. I think everybody in the building is gonna have a little bit more sense of urgency. Obviously, they’re playing a good football (team). The Jets are rolling this year. …

“To me, Mac is still the guy for the team. He’s the guy who you saw do it for 17, 18 weeks, whatever it was last year. He has the right mental process for it. He’s been through an entire NFL season, which can be very long, especially for a young quarterback. So, I think he’ll handle it very well.”

Jones and the Patriots have little time to hang their heads, as a must win-game against the Jets awaits this Sunday.

New England currently sits in last place in the AFC East with a 3-4 record, while New York is 5-2 and in second place in the division. The Jets haven’t beaten the Patriots since an overtime home victory in 2015.

Kickoff from MetLife Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Bob Breidenbach via USA TODAY Sports Images
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